Why Waxing Sometimes Causes Breakouts

by Alexa Dragoumis

Let's face it — maintaining those perfect brow arches is a must — but sometimes a salon wax comes with the price of a breakout. If you've been experiencing this reaction, you're not alone, which is why I'm going to tell you why waxing sometimes causes breakouts and give you a few tips on how to prevent post-wax pimples.

Believe it or not, it's a common problem, so if you're experiencing breakouts, you don't have to give up waxing altogether! The biggest causes of post-waxing breakouts are as follows: allergies to the wax itself, skin sensitivity due to regular use of retinol products, touching the area post-wax, and mild burns.

For starters, it's important to remember that the process of waxing removes some of the skin on the surface. Because of that, our pores are left exposed and anything touching that area after a wax (even if it's just the soothing agent) can easily cause breakouts. Sometimes, it can be tempting to touch the newly smoothened area, but dirt and oils from your hands can totally creep into your pores while they're open. For that reason, it's best to avoid touching the area. It's also important to make sure that all tools are properly sterilized, especially if you are performing the wax on yourself.

If you have sensitive skin and could possibly be allergic to the wax or the products applied post-wax, washing your face with a gentle cleanser after your service will also help ensure that all excess product is removed and that your pores are left clear.

For those using anti-aging products containing retinol (often found in anti-wrinkle creams and serums), you probably already know that these products can cause the skin to become more sensitive. This includes sensitivity to services like waxing and often times, regular retinol users will experience inflammation and pimples after a wax. Avoiding products with retinol a day or two before your appointment may help curb these reactions.

Finally, sometimes we mistake mild burns for pimples. Mild burns and inflammation caused by wax that is too hot can sometimes appear the same as redness and breakouts on those with sensitive skin. Be sure to communicate with your salon and let them know if you have sensitive skin so that they properly cool the wax before applying.

Before you book your next waxing appointment, here are a few things you might want to stock up on to avoid a post-wax breakout:

A Gentle Cleanser

CeraVe Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser,, $12.99

For someone with sensitive skin, this is the perfect formula to use post-wax. It's fragrance-free and often recommended by dermatologists.

A Calming Mask

Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Maks,, $18.00

The chamomile extract in this mask provides relief to the skin while the Balsam Peru works to soothe inflammation. Since this mask doesn't harden, no harsh scrubbing is required to take it off!

A Vitamin C Serum

VirginN Pure Minerals C-Cret Serum,, $58.00

For those of you using retinol products regularly, consider switching to a vitamin C serum a few days before and on the day of your waxing appointment. Vitamin C has incredible anti-aging properties and since VirginN Pure Minerals was developed by estheticians, all of their skincare products are gentle and safe for use on sensitive skin.

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